The City of Kandy
At an altitude of about 500 m above sea level lies Kandy which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is about 115 km from Colombo.
The city was founded in 1592 by King Vimaladharmasuriya I. It was the last capital of Sri Lanka until it was captured by British in 1815.
The valley of Kandy is surrounded by magnificent hills which made it as the last bastion of the Sinhalees Kings.Even though Kandy is a new city it was evident that the inhabitance was the more than 880 years. Today Kandy offers its visitors rich collection of art and craft
and historical buildings. It includes a collection of ancient temples buildings, handicrafts, souvenirs, rich cultural practices and rituals. Most of all the world popular Kandy pageant or “Kandy Asela Pererahara”. Boating on the lake visiting the royal Botanical Gardens are some of other attractions.
Kandy “Asela Perahera” is annually held in the months of July or August. The inner caskets used to cover the tooth relic of Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city. It includes traditional Kandyan dancers, drummers, flag of the provinces of Kandyan kingdom and the elephants are grandly dressed with attire specially made for them. The, it attracts large crowds from all parts of the island.
Temple of tooth relic houses the most sacred Buddhist relic, the Tooth of loard Buddha. Buddhists from all around the world venerate this place. During the ancient times the Tooth Relic is considered the symbol of Kingship and became the most sacred object.
The temple was built in 17th Century by King Wimaladharmasuriya and renovated by his son King Narendrasingha and Kirti Sri Rajasinghe. King Sri Wickramasinghe built the octagen known as the “Pattirippuwa”. The only remaining relic of Buddha is housed in this temple. There are seven golden caskets enclosed for the tooth relic. The relic casket is covered with bullet proof glass frame. Daily rituals are performed three times a day (at dawn, at noon and in the evening) by two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya vihara monks.
Kandy Perahera(Esala Perahera)
Kandy Perahera is the most colorful pageant in the world and it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. Happening in July or August in Kandy. This Buddhist festival consisting over 100 colorfully dressed elephants, drummers, traditional Kandyan dancers, fire-dances, whip-dances and flag of the provinces of Kandyan kingdom.
Peradiniya Botanical Gardens
Peradiniya botanical garden is situated 1500 feet above from the sea level and covers an area of 150 arches. Mahaweli river flows from North and West of the gardens making a beautiful place. This garden was used by King “ Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe” in the year of 1747 – 1780.
Peradiniya botanical Garden is home for so many plant species which are local and foreign. At the entrance of the garden you can see the species Amherstia nobilis which as flowers blossom all the time. Along the river banks of Mahaweli river there are many plant species from many different countries such as Japan, China and Java. The most attractive place of all is the orchid house.
The most suitable time to visit is from 8.00 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 18.00. Contact Golden Lanka Travels for reservations.
Beautiful Dumbara mountain range – Knuckles range
The Knuckles range has more that 35 rugged peaks which gives magnificent scenic view and t can be categorized as one of the most valuable heritages in Sri Lanka. This is called ‘Mini Alps’ for its formation. The name Knuckles is given it as it looks like the knuckles of a clenched fist with five prominent peaks and the five main peaks are Kirigalpoththa (1642m), Gombaniya
(1900m), Knuckles (1852m), Koboneelaga (1544m) and Dotulugala (1564m). The Knuckles range is about 90 square miles and it is rich with flora and fauna.
Embekka is situated about three kilometers from the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. This 14th century temple is famous for skillfully made wooden carvings dedicated to God Katargama. The beautiful carved wooden pillars are decorated with dancers, wrestlers, beasts and birds. There are about 128 carvings on the wooden pillars the unique feature of this carvings are all are different from each other.
The most wonderful feature of this site is the roof of the temple. It does not have a central beam, where all other 26 rafters are fixed to the roof using one huge wooden nail.
Kadugannawa is popular because of its gap. The gap is located in Colombo Kandy highway from about 60 miles and it is 800 feet above the sea level. Near the gap the surrounding view is scenic. The road is very narrow with many turns and comes to a place where the road is been built by drilling a rock. The person behind this road building was captan Dorson. To remember him there is a monument built.
Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Vihara
Gadaladeniya Temple was built by a minister called “Senadilankara” during the Gampala kingdom. This was build using stones, it is said Indian artists were used building this temple. The carved stature and the “Makara Thorana” are beautiful creations at this place. (Year 1341 – 1408)
How to reach:
Turn right from the junction near the Pilimathalawa town of Colombo – Kandy main road.
Lankathilake Vihara was built by a minister called “Senadilankara”. This magnificent building has 3 stories and shows a mix of Tamil and Chinese craftsmanship. There are 14 elephant drawings and small “Makara Thorana” around this building.You can reach Lankathilake temple by passing Gadaladeniya temple and turning right.